My mentor text this week is Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson.
The author of this story explores the importance of being kind to others. A young girl and her friends make fun of a new student for her shabby clothes and refuse to play with her. Then her teacher teaches a lesson about the importance of being kind to others. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get a second chance to be kind as the new student had already moved away, leaving her with remorse for her previous unkind actions and without a way to mend her errors.
I always try to choose a mentor text based on underlying lessons that can be taught outside of the required curriculum, such as life lessons — little tidbits that the children will take with them all their lives, not only in a classroom setting.
I like to use this mentor text to remind students just how important it is to treat others nicely, because we may not always have that second chance to make things right. The language of the text moves students, even younger ones, and creates a touching mood. I’m often left with students feeling sad about the way others are treated. The connections that students feel to this story often leads to deep discussion.
I like to have my students discuss what the main character could have done instead with each scenario in the story, along with rewriting the ending. Finally, the story contains a few quotes, such as “Each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world” and “Each kindness, makes the whole world a little bit better” that offer a great opportunity to explore their meaning further — and if you know me, I’m always searching for ways to encourage deeper reading and critical thinking. This story promises to communicate a heartfelt lesson at great depths.
You can grab your copy of Each Kindness for your lessons on kindness today! Just head to Amazon (aff. link) here.
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